New Delhi: The European Union on Friday said it wants an "ambitious" free trade agreement with India which would be of benefit to both the sides which are working full steam to find solutions to certain pending issues.
    
"Intense negotiations would continue over the coming months to effectively solve the remaining core issues between now and the EU-India Summit, which is scheduled for February 10," John Clancy, EU Trade spokesman said in a statement released here.
    
Further work is required in outstanding issues like tariffs, services and procurement policy, the statement said, adding negotiations would begin from November 21 till December 5.
    
It said that the trade opening deal is expected to result in gains for India to the extent of Euro five billion and for EU Euro four billion.
    
A senior German official had said in Berlin on November 16 that there was no way the India-EU deal could be signed before the February summit in New Delhi.     

"The proposals on the table at present are not very attractive and a lot more needs to be done to work out a satisfying situation for both sides," Germany’s Head of Foreign Trade Division, Berend Diekmann had said.
    
At present, progress on the talks is not at all at the desired pace, he added.
    
"We are not hopeful of signing the FTA anywhere in the near future," Diekmann adding the two sides were "far far away from reaching an agreement."

High tariffs on automobiles, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machinery products, agriculture and wines and spirits in India are the other issues which need to be resolved.
    
India is in talks with the EU, its biggest trading partner, since June 2007 for liberalising trade in goods, services and investment through a Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA). Already 13 rounds of talks have taken place.
    
The free trade pact would involve slashing of duties on over 90 percent of the trade and opening up of the mutual markets for services and investment.
    
The 27-nation bloc EU is India's largest trading partner and the trade volume stood at USD 75 billion in 2009-10.

(Agencies)